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A Closer Look at How We Repair a Damaged ACL

A Closer Look at How We Repair a Damaged ACL

ACL tears — the very thought sends shivers down an athlete’s spine, and for good reason. An unstable knee means virtually no movement for weeks, if not months. That is, until now. 

Athletes of all kinds in The Woodlands, Texas, area have trusted our team with one of their most valuable assets — their knees — counting on us to help them avoid injury and address it when the worst happens. 

The orthopedic surgeons at The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre in The Woodlands, Texas, specialize in getting you off the sidelines as quickly as possible with our advanced ACL repair methods.

Here’s everything you should know about how we repair an ACL tear. 

Behind the scenes of your ACL repair

Your ACL repair journey begins with an extensive evaluation. We order comprehensive imaging tests to evaluate the extent of the damage, and we even bring in your coaches, trainers, and family members to give us a complete understanding of your knee injury

ACL tears aren’t the kind of injury you can play through or recover from with ice and rest — your knee likely needs surgical intervention to get you back to playing shape. Our methods to repair your ACL are as minimally invasive as possible, but we still administer general anesthesia before we begin your procedure. 

The main goal of ACL repair is to surgically remove the damaged ligament and replace it with a new tendon (or graft), which comes from a donor or another part of your knee. 

Your ACL repair is an arthroscopic procedure, which means we use a small camera and tools to access and work on your knee. The arthroscope gives us a clear view of your damaged ligament and allows us to work quickly without damaging the surrounding tissue. 

Bonus: We use tools so small we don’t need to create a large incision. On the other hand, open knee surgery is more invasive and can keep you stuck on the sidelines for much longer. 

The graft encourages a new ligament to grow, restoring your knee and leaving only a small scar behind. 

Getting back in the game

You can expect to be on crutches or in a splint or brace for a few weeks while your knee recovers. We walk you through basic recovery procedures and discuss your fastest path back to the lineup. If you want to get into playing shape as fast as possible, keep the following in mind.

Take it easy

It’s hard to tell hardcore athletes to take a timeout, but your knee needs as much rest as possible as it heals. So kick your feet up and do what you can to stay in shape. 

Don’t neglect physical therapy

It may be a drag to keep your physical therapy appointments (and, depending on how severe your tear was, you may need quite a bit of physical therapy), but it's the best thing you can do to recover quickly. 

Your physical therapist knows exactly what you need to do to strengthen your knee and encourage healing. Your stretches and exercises are tailored to your sport and meant to make your recovery as easy as possible. 

Be realistic

ACL tears may be common, but that doesn’t mean they aren't serious. If you’ve torn your ACL, you must know you won’t heal overnight. We encourage you to set realistic expectations for your recovery. When you return to the game, listen to your body and stop if you notice pain.

Don’t stop training

Speaking of doing what you can, just because your knee is in rehab doesn’t mean the rest of your body is. There’s no reason you can’t (carefully) strengthen the muscles around your knee — you may even help yourself prevent a future injury. 

Looking for more information about our ACL repair methods? We’d love to talk with you. Call The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre at 281-374-2273 or book an appointment online today. 

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